Wednesday, April 1, 2009

A day in the life of a nonprofit worker

1. What is your name, organization and job title (can be anonymous)
Nicole Weiler, St. Stephen's Human Services, Free Store Director

2. What is the first thing you do when you get in the office?
Typically I am the first person in the building at 6:30am. I find the quiet and absence of other colleagues promotes a very productive atmosphere for me to organize and prioritize my day. Aside from the obvious "turn on the lights," the first thing I typically do in the office is check my email and clear the inbox to 0, if possible.

3. How do you spend your lunch break?
I am lucky enough to have been granted a flexible schedule. I spend the first 6 hours of the day "in the office" before leaving to complete unfinished work from home. My lunch break is spent eating homemade food at my dining room table, fending off a begging dog.

4. Which part of your work do you enjoy most?
My work is richly rewarding. The most incredibly part is hearing stories of the people whose lives I have touched by simply doing what I do. I run a Free Store that provides clothing, shoes and household items to the low income population at no-cost. It is quite literally as it sounds, a Free Store. You'd be amazed at the number of Thank You cards that flood my employee mailbox. They literally bring me to tears thinking about how my generous donors have afforded me the ability to provide my gracious clients with the everyday items they need, and I am the one being thanked.

5. Please finish this sentence: If someone wanted my job, they would have to…..
have very thick skin.

6. What advice or tips do you have for other nonprofit professionals in your position?
Know who you are. There is nothing more powerful than a young nonprofit professional who is completely aware of their strengths as well as their weaknesses and constantly making strides to improve both. Live authentically, make friends with people who can teach you something (anything, literally. We all have something offer others.) Join a local networking group such as YNPN where you can meet other people in the nonprofit sector who currently are or who have worked their way up the "ladder." Be confident, be calm.

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